At Thompson Center for Dentistry, we offer advanced treatment for TMJ Disorder (sometimes referred to as TMD). This common condition affects the temporomandibular joint between the upper and lower jaws, which aids the movement of the jaw when you yawn, chew, and speak. Over time, the joint can be affected by a breakdown of cartilage, excessive teeth clenching or grinding, arthritis, imbalance, bite misalignment, and even simple overuse. This can ultimately result in TMJ Disorder, which can cause an array of debilitating symptoms that you may not realize are connected to a problem with the jaw’s temporomandibular joint. One of our experienced dentists can perform a thorough oral evaluation to determine if you may be suffering from TMJ Disorder. If so, we can create a customized treatment plan designed to significantly alleviate your symptoms.
What are the symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
The symptoms of TMJ Disorder often vary among patients with the condition; however, some of the most common include:
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Headache and/or facial pain
- Difficulty chewing, biting, or swallowing
- Trouble opening and closing the mouth
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Ear ache
- Numbness in the arms or fingers
- Pain in the shoulder, back, or neck
What are some of the treatment options for TMJ Disorder?
Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options that have shown to be effective for TMJ Disorder. The ideal treatment will depend on your unique needs and the severity of your condition. While medication or jaw and bite therapies may be all that’s necessary in some cases of TMJ Disorder, a customized oral appliance such as a nightguard has shown to be a successful remedy for many patients.
TMJ Splint Therapy
TMJ splint therapy is a treatment that can reduce pain caused by TMJ Disorder. This option involves the use of an oral appliance that keeps the mouth slightly open, ultimately helping to relax the muscles, ease pressure on the temporomandibular joint, and improve TMJ function. The TMJ splint can be particularly ideal for patients who suffer from jaw clicking that results from TMJ Disorder, and can also provide protection of the teeth for individuals who have bruxism (teeth clenching/grinding).
There are many different types of TMJ splints—some are made of a hard acrylic resin, while others are made of a soft, flexible material. Once you are diagnosed with TMJ Disorder, our dentist can talk with you about the available options and determine the most ideal type of TMJ splint for your needs.
In some cases of TMJ Disorder, options such as restorative dentistry, bite realignment appliances, or oral surgery may be recommended. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about which treatment offers the best solution for your concerns.
TMJ Disorder affects a large number of individuals, and many of them are not even aware they have the condition. A quick examination is often all that’s necessary to diagnose TMJ Disorder and produce a treatment plan that can reduce the condition’s effects on your livelihood. For more information, or to schedule an appointment here at Thompson Center for Dentistry, please contact us today.